Race to 'grab a jab' with coronavirus cases on the rise

The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in Maidenhead amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.

Infections are continuing to climb in the UK following the emergence of the Delta variant, originally identified in India.

The Department of Health and Social Care reported 26,068 new cases of COVID-19 in its daily update yesterday (Wednesday).

Figures also revealed a 72.5 per cent jump in weekly cases in Windsor and Maidenhead with 176 positive cases identified between Monday, June 21 and Sunday, June 27.

This compared to 102 cases reported over the previous seven days.

A ‘grab-a-jab’ event took place at Maidenhead Town Hall over the weekend which saw 700 vaccines administered at a walk-in clinic for people aged over 18.

Public health officials are now targeting the last adult age group on the vaccination priority list, those aged 18-24.

Dr Amandeep Dosanjh, clinical director of the Maidenhead Primary Care Network – the network of Maidenhead’s GP practices, said: “Through the hard work and dedication of our vaccinators, administrators and volunteers, we have been able to provide many more of our residents with protection from the coronavirus, and that boosts the protection for our community as a whole.

“Our job isn’t finished though. We still have people who have not had a single dose – or who have only had one. I would urge anyone over the age of 18 who hasn’t had a jab yet to get one as soon as possible, either through a booked appointment or at a local walk-in service.

“Anyone who has had their first dose can have their second as soon as they are eligible – typically after eight weeks.”

Dee Mitchell administering jabs at Maidenhead Town Hall.

Those awaiting their jab should expect a text from their GP and appointments can also be selected on the national NHS booking system or by calling 119.

A number of walk-in clinics are also operating across the borough with further information available at www.frimleyhealthandcare.org.uk.

Councillor Stuart Carroll, cabinet member for health at the Royal Borough, told the Advertiser the council is looking to offer as many walk-in centres as possible to encourage younger people to take the vaccine.

He said: “We really do need the younger cohorts to come forward and get the vaccine and the rates are looking very positive in that regard.

“I know having spoken to a number of young people through my children’s services brief and my health brief that the overwhelming majority of people are excited and looking forward to getting their first dose.”

NHS figures show 5,037 under 25 have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Windsor and Maidenhead.

Cllr Carroll, whose professional background is in infectious diseases and epidemiology, admitted the country is experiencing the start of a potential third wave.

He urged residents to continue to follow basic public health protocols including wearing masks properly when required to ensure both the mouth and nose are covered.

He added: “I think what it (the rise in cases) does illustrate is this virus isn’t by any stretch of the imagination fully defeated yet.

“If this was a game of football, we might be 3-1 up at half-time. We were suffering very heavily in the early part of the pandemic, we then had our star player the vaccine join and we brought them off the bench and we’ve pulled it back.

“In any football match if we want to go through and continue on the path towards victory we’ve got to do the basics well and let’s not give the ball away.

“We are in the ascendancy, we are in the driving seat but we’ve got to keep our discipline and that does mean getting the vaccine, particularly the younger cohorts.”

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